Primetime star Kim Delaney turned heads when she stepped back into the world of soap operas this October as a recast for the role of General Hospital's Jackie Templeton. The actress has made herself right at home with storylines that include a past secret affair with Finn (Michael Easton) and the hunt to take down evil Cyrus (Jeff Kober), the latter of which may help her out with her next role: starring in Lifetime's upcoming original movie The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice.
Part of the network's "Ripped from the Headlines" slate, the film is inspired by the emotional, real-life story of Mari Gilbert, a mother whose daughter's disappearance led to the discovery of 19 bodies, many of which are believed to have been victims of an unidentified Long Island serial killer. The movie will star Delaney as Gilbert and will follow the grieving mother's relentless pursuit for answers and the truth.
Emmy-winning journalist Deborah Norville, who covered Gilbert's story as anchor for Inside Edition, serves as the executive producer of the film that is set for a winter 2021 release on Lifetime.
"Mari Gilbert single-handedly brought closure to families who never knew what happened to their missing sisters and daughters," said Norville in a statement obtained by Deadline. "To law enforcement, she was 'just a mom,' but her tenacity led to the discovery of a serial killer who may still be roaming free. The incomparable Kim Delaney makes the anguish and anger of Mari Gilbert palpable for the viewer. Watching her performance and that of the entire cast is simply thrilling."
The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice will follow Mari Gilbert's search for the truth behind what happened to her daughter Shannan, a sometime escort who disappeared after a "date" on Long Island. After Shannan (Katharine Isabelle) fails to come home, her mother, Mari, knows something is terribly wrong. Pleading to police to take her concerns seriously, she keeps pushing the police for answers. Mari's insistence that her daughter not be overlooked eventually leads to a horror hidden on Long Island for more than a decade: 19 bodies of young women discovered buried in shallow graves along Ocean Parkway in the area of Jones Beach State Park.
"Though the search for the killer is still ongoing, Mari's passionate dedication to giving her daughter and other forgotten women a voice, and the attention they deserve, has kept the case alive with hopes of a breakthrough soon," said Lifetime of the film, which digs deep into the murders -- including Shannan's -- that have gone unsolved.
Delaney began her career playing All My Children character Jenny Gardner from 1981 to 1984 and recently returned to daytime television, playing GH's Jackie Templeton, a character previously played by Demi Moore in the early 80s. Delaney is best known for her Emmy-winning role as Detective Diane Russell on ABC's NYPD Blue. She also recurs on NBC's Chicago Fire.
The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice, part of Lifetime's upcoming Ripped from the Headlines slate of true crime movies and the network's 400th original movie, premieres February 20 at 8 pm ET.
UPDATE (January 24, 2021): The first trailer for the movie is now available on People's web site. You can check it out here.
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